As armed clashes have intensified in Rakhine State in Myanmar causing a surge in the number of Rohingya's refugees crossing from Myanmar into Bangladesh, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered a B747-400 private aircraft to transport humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the refugees in Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh.
The move comes in support of efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Bangladesh-bound aircraft has been loaded with more than 100 metric tonnes of tents made available by UNHCR with the support of Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC); IHC made all adequate preparations for an efficient and fast response through providing the warehouses, coordinating airlifts, and arranging for easy and fast track access.
This airlift requested by UNHCR via IHC responds to the needs of 8355 refugees from 1671 families who fled to the northern Rakhine state. The shipment has a total value of USD 733,569 (AED 2,694,472); the airlift cost is USD 225,00 (826,470 AED) In the last two weeks, an estimated 270,000 Rohingya refugees sought safety in Bangladesh according to UN reports; scores of people are reported to have died, in addition to several thousand people who have been waiting to cross the border fleeing the large-scale violence in the Myanmar. The estimated number of Rohingyas already living in refugee camps in Bangladesh now stands at more than 500,000 and the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted.
This is the second aircraft of humanitarian aid UNHCR has sent to Bangladesh last Sunday; the first relief cargo carried 91 metric tonnes of relief items to respond to the needs of 175 000 people. It was also loaded with jerricans, sleeping mats, tarps, blankets, and kitchen sets from the humanitarian aid items stocked in the warehouses of UNHCR at the International Humanitarian City.